Lindsey Fern’s enchantment with fine dining and hospitality started at an early age. An
annual birthday dinner at one of the nation’s best restaurants with her mother made quite an impression. Fern enjoyed watching the choreographed timing of chefs, servers, sommeliers, mixologists and hosts working seamlessly as if actors on a stage. She decided she wanted to be part of it. Now after years of working in hospitality and fine dining all over the world, she has landed the leading role as the only female wine director of a three-star Michelin restaurant in the US.
The Inn at Little Washington is not only lauded for its extraordinary wine list – which includes an impressive collection of wines by the glass – but also for its dedication to sourcing organic and sustainably grown produce from local farmers and producers, earning the restaurant the inaugural Green Michelin Star to be handed out in the US. Fern is keen to support local wine producers in Virginia, as well as highlight family wineries from other grape-growing areas across the US on a list that has long been renowned for offering the best from Europe and California.
“I am definitely a bit of a Francophile when it comes to my favourites,” Fern says. “I am a lover of Grower Champagne, Burgundy and everything from the Northern Rhône Valley but, in particular, Côte-Rôtie. These wines all have a sense of elegance and are layered, especially as they age. For me, a wine is truly outstanding when it evolves as you drink it. French wines tell a story. They are coy and don’t show you who they are right away. They let their hair down slowly and take you on a journey.”
However, she also has a keen interest in Australian wines. “What I love about Australian wines is their diversity. The country is as large as the US and is made up of a myriad of climates, soil compositions, old and young winemaking regions. Australian wines can’t be summarised as a whole but rather approached for individual terroirs. I have yet to visit Australia, so I like to taste wines that will express terroir. It’s my way to travel there in my mind, and look for aromas and flavours that are distinct to each region.”